Blog over de restauratie van mijn '50 Studebaker Commander

Front end


The most peculiar thing happened yesterday. I opened the steering gear box and found only 23 balls inside. 12 in the top bearing and 11 in the lower one. I checked all the oil but could not find it. Did it dissolve, did somebody, 62 years ago, forget it, did he drop it? It will remain a mystery for ever. Now it is not too easy to find a 5/16″ ball in Europe so it took me a few hours and a few kilometers. 

I cleaned it, coated the housing in a mix of 2 parts chrome and 1 part satin black. The seal for the cover I cut from paper, the oil I found at Stevens Autoersatzteile in Wesel, Germany. I use a semi fluid Penrite Steering Box Lube. A thick stuff with a viscosity between oil and grease. it is also called a self leveling grease. It is supposed to “flow” from the bottle but I had to cut the bottle and scoop it out of the halves. I can now turn the steering post with two fingers and it runs smoothly as a baby’s bottom. I’m so proud!

I also found a brand new master brake cylinder. C&C parts in Baarlo had it in stock so I picked it up while I was driving around for the 5/16″ balls. The renovated Hill Holder found its place on the back of it with a couple of new brass washers. Let’s hope it is closed.

From there I mover to the right front suspension. It was quite a hassle to install the bushings. The coating of the lower control arm is damaged by me in a few places but I finally succeeded and the pins move freely. Even without grease the steering knuckle steers as new and without any noticeable play. The front spring will have to wait: I need the weight of the engine on the chassis to keep the chassis down when I jack-up the lower control arm with the spring installed. I don’t have the spring insulators yet anyway.

By the way, this is what the front end looked before I started on it.


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